| Jana Illhardt |
BERLIN (dpa) – Heavy-duty boots with big toecaps were once the exclusive preserve of girls with a yen for Punk and Grunge, but today they are high fashion for a lady.
“It used to be that a tight dress would be matched with high heels. But now, more women are wearing ankle boots with one instead,” says Claudia Schulz from the German Footwear and Leather Association. Ankle-high boots with raised heels are eye-catching because they are such large items when shoeing a dainty leg.
“We are living in an age when every item of clothing, whether it be a skirt, stove-pipe jeans or a belt, just has to attract attention,” says Gerd Mueller-Thomkins from the German Fashion Institute.
“Another explanation for the attention being given to footwear is that legs have become a focus of fashion.”
Today’s boots have little connection with the smart and simple footwear of past seasons that was mainly designed to get you from A to B.
Today’s footwear is getting into bling territory, like handbags or bangles, Mueller-Thomkins thinks.
Claudia Schulz says there are two types of footwear at the moment in the German shops: “Heavy boots with thick heels and elegant shoes with heels.”
The Chelsea boots that were so popular last spring belong in the first category. Fashion experts think Chelseas are still trendy, but boots with laces are catching up fast. Mustard yellow boots are back in fashion along with the chunky boots typical of the brand Timberland.
“Biker boots are also becoming very popular,” adds Schulz. “But biker boots have been given a glam makeover.”
Big buckles, zips, chains and even sequins are part of the adornments the latest models have been given by designers.
“Gold is the trend colour of the moment for embellishments,” she said.
But Ines Meyrose says you have to be the extravagant type to wear luscious gold boots. “Natural types should pick boots with Indian pearls or colourful floral patterns.”
And if you are short in stature you should fall back on more reserved-looking footwear.
“Boots tend to make legs look shorter, especially boots with buckles and chains,” warns Meyrose.
Skirts make a great combination item with chunky boots. “The skirt should end above the knee to make the legs look longer.”
Tight-fitting legwear like skinny jeans or stockings has the same effect. Ideally they should be in a colour matching what you are wearing on your feet.
The important thing about boots is that they should look casual. Thick heels help achieve that and luckily they are in fashion right now.
Modern heels are made from material called ethylene vinyl acetate, which is very lightweight, thanks to its high air content, and grips surfaces well. Block and wedge heels are very fashionable.
“You can wear those types of heels with confidence and stroll through the day without wobbling,” says Meyrose. “Women appreciate that.”
The new boots also tend to have round toecaps, which fashion experts interpret as a desire for naturalness.
Only with ankle boots and boot pumps do the caps tend to get sharper and the heels higher.
“This is where we tend to see more curved soles or platform-like shoes,” says Mueller-Thomkins. Some of the latest designs have eye-catching laces, velour and the imitation reptile-skin look to get heads turning.
But luckily there’s a huge range of boots on the market so everyone can decide just how much they want to be at the centre of attention.